Wane: Giants will be the favourites

Wigan's Sean O'Loughlin in action in the game against Warrington
Wigan's Sean O'Loughlin in action in the game against Warrington

SHAUN Wane last night claimed the underdog status for his Wigan team despite landing a home tie in the opening round of the play-offs.

The Warriors host Huddersfield this Thursday night in a mouthwatering opener to this year’s post-season series.

Castleford’s failure to beat Catalan on Saturday night ensured Wane’s outfit finished the regular campaign in second spot, a point behind league leaders shield winners St Helens.

Wigan now need to win two home games to reach the Old Trafford Grand Final.

A victory this Thursday would secure them a semi-final spot two weeks later – while a loss to the Giants would earn them a second chance the following week.

And while many fans will fancy Wigan’s chances after back-to-back victories against heavyweights Leeds and Warrington, Wane, who celebrated his 50th birthday yesterday, believes they will expect to be tested by Paul Anderson’s men.

He said: “Huddersfield can play, no doubt about it. They have beaten us twice already this year so they’ll probably go into this game as favourites.

“But we’re confident we can beat anyone on our day if we perform.

“They played well last Friday, they beat St Helens, and we will have to play like we did for 80 minutes against Leeds, and in the second-half against Warrington.”

Huddersfield finished the season in third spot, after a 17-16 win against St Helens last Friday.

Wane reported no fresh injury concerns and doesn’t expect Mike McIlorum to face any further action for an off-field incident late last Thursday, for which he was placed on report.

Tickets for Thursday’s match are available at the standard matchday prices, but season ticket holders qualify for a £7 discount, meaning prices start at £14 for adults and £7 for concessions.

The usual £2 discount for Loyal 18 Members is also available.

Both discounts are only available until 5pm on Wednesday. After this point all reserved seats that haven’t been purchased will also be released for general sale on matchday.

They went on sale at the DW Stadium ticket office today, or via 0871 6633552 or online.